Steven R. Boyett
Ace, Nov 2009, $24.95
Three decades have passed since magic became the physics that rules the world. The Change as it is called by those who grew up after the planes fell and the cars stopped has brought with it much more than the halt of technology, fantasy creatures abound and a generation gap like no other ever before exists.
Ariel the unicorn reunites with her best friend Pete Garey (see ARIEL) after her mate Joe was murdered. At the same time post Change born wizard Yanamandra “Yan” Ramchandani wants to do something so big his name will go down in history and he has found the achievement of a lifetime. He knows how to reverse the Change. As Ariel and Pete investigate Joe’s homicide, they learn of Yan’s plot that the older generation would relish but those born after the Change and the tweeners like Pete would not. To prevent Yan from causing a second catastrophe, the unicorn and her human BFF enlist Pete’s son Fred who happens to be Yan's best friend, and the renegade mage’s father Dr. Ram; Fred also hopes Tan's sister Nandita joins their troupe.
Although exciting and fast-paced with an intriguing background of a post-apocalyptic realm, there are some jarring survival elements as the magic practitioners use much of what existed before the Change like canned food in spite of shelf time rather than employing their mage skills. Still this is an entertaining tale as the lead pair and their allies try to prevent the reversal of the Change although Yan will have plenty of supporters amongst the Baby Boomers and Generation X and detractors from Generation Change. Fans of the first tale will enjoy the sequel though much of the innocence is gone (he has an offspring).